Here's a writeup from a pet rescue organization, Minneapolis-based Pet Haven. First, a note about the case, then the proposed submission. To help, call 952-831-3825.
Minnesota's oldest foster-based rescue, Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota, has recently taken in a dog with a hard-knock background. Born to a Minnesota USDA-licensed breeding facility with over 150 breeding dogs, this puppy has multiple genetic issues. Nonetheless, he is the happiest dog you will ever meet.
He will undergo surgery tomorrow to correct one of his issues, and have subsequent surgery(s) after to correct his other issues. To see a full explanation of what Bear is dealing with, please see attached. You can see his struggle to walk, when he first came into rescue care (he has since gotten stronger), here: http://youtu.be/6XWYZdH5hhQ
In a unique angle, a current Olympian athlete has a similar issue so I thought that could make a headline "Dog and Olympian Share Physical Struggles" or something like that. See the Olympian's story: http://ru-facts.com/news/view/32040.html
Please let me know if this story would be of any interest to you and I can get you whatever facts/resources you need.
Bear Write Up
On April 22, 2012 a beautiful little Pekingese puppy was born to this world. Just like many other dogs, he was loved by his littermates and loved by his mom, but unfortunately, he was not loved by his human. You see, this little Pekingese puppy was born in a puppy mill, where his parents were housed with nearly 150 other dogs for the purpose of continuous breeding.
Poor breeding practices like inbreeding and substandard medical attention/nutrition are often found in puppy mills and could be the reason that this little puppy was born with a host of issues. Unable to sell the puppy to a pet store or consumer, this USDA-licensed breeder turned the puppy over to a local shelter, where he was given the name “Bear.”
Upon arrival to the shelter it was clear that Bear had some balance issues and the local veterinarian was not able to diagnose exactly what they were. Without the resources to fix this little guy, the shelter partnered with Pet Haven, where Bear was placed into a foster home that had years of experience caring for dogs with extreme medical issues. Bear was seen by Pet Haven’s veterinarian with the initial diagnosis of possible neurological issues and glaucoma of his right eye. To confirm, he was referred to the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Medical Clinic for observation by a Specialist. An MRI confirmed; the Specialist’s initial diagnosis of atlantoaxial subluxation was accurate.
“Atlantoaxial subluxation is a rare genetic musculoskeletal disorder… [that] results in the instability of the atlantoaxial articulation that produces excessive flexion of the joint causing the cranial aspect of the axis to rotate dorsally into the vertebral canal with subsequent spinal cord compression often resulting in severe, acute neurological deficits.”* In short, the missing vertebra in Bear’s neck was causing balance issues and would result in excessive stumbling, tripping, etc. Additionally, most studies show that this issue is painful for the dog until/unless corrected with surgery.
During the time that these vet visits occurred, the amazing care Bear was receiving in his foster home allowed his personality to blossom. This little guy went from being an underweight, shy, matted puppy mill victim to a confident, happy-go-lucky, snuggly member of the household. Bear loved to play with his two feline housemates and any toy that crossed his path. He welcomed any visitor to the home with a smile, frantic tail wagging, and kisses galore. He was truly a “Cinderella story” in its finest sense.
After some discussion about whether surgical treatment would be pursued for Bear, Pet Haven leadership decided to give this boy the second chance he so deserved and will be proceeding with two rounds of surgery for Bear. The first surgery will be performed by the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Medical Center and will correct Bear’s atlantoaxial subluxation. Due to his age and the strength he has gained in foster care, the chances of a successful and complete recovery are high. Once he has recovered from this surgery, Bear will undergo a second surgery to remove his right eye.
The total estimates for Bear’s medical treatments while in Pet Haven’s care are currently at $4,500.
How can you help? Please make a donation to help fund Bear’s medical treatments. Any amount helps. Also, if you choose not to adopt a dog, please choose a reputable breeder and not one who breeds dogs on a mass scale. Advocate for those who do not have a voice. Dogs like Bear, and his family.